A valuable part of your kitchen remodelling is going to a kitchen showroom and it's very valuable to ensure that you know what you’re buying. As you wouldn’t buy a car or a house without looking at it, you shouldn’t spend your money on a bespoke kitchen without examining it first.
So you’ve done your preparation and now you’re standing outside the showroom. What next? What are you actually looking for? What kind of questions should you be asking?
First, strike up a conversation and see if they have any items that match up with your current idea-board. If yes, then see if they have any matching sets. Design becomes so much easier if they have all the cupboards and appliances you need in a single set. Consider whether you want your kitchen to look more uniform and orderly, or whether you want to mix and match with specific pieces.
If you’re liking the look of something, or you have a good sense of your budget, ask to look at items within a similar price range. Perhaps they’ll have something that’ll surprise you! Showrooms have a lot of hidden gems, and there might be something that you like for cheaper than you expected.
If you’ve got something in your current kitchen that you don’t want to change, from fixtures to the fridge, take a photo to compare with the materials in the showroom. Ask to take samples home so that you can compare them in real life. They may seem nice on paper, but they could react in a way that is displeasing.
One of the great things about showrooms is the fact that everything is there infront of you, and you can try things out. Test the construction of the furniture, especially the moving parts. See if the drawers stick, or if the handles are loose. Test whether the cupboards have a soft hinge (so it closes slowly instead of with a slam) and that they’re fitted well. If you’re not satisfied here, you probably won’t be at home.
Next comes the more detailed part of the conversation, where you go from focusing on the furniture to the company. Even if you’ve found something you love, you should ask the following questions:
What services are you offering? Most companies should offer a design service, some may offer the fitting service as well. At Tomas Kitchens Living, we offer 3D design, supply and installation. Some may out-source parts or have hidden services and costs.
Will customisation cost extra? A lot of bespoke services offer customisation for their furniture. However, some may include a higher cost for customisation and not inform you.
How does delivery work? Linked to the question on services, ask whether they will remove your old furniture and whether they’ll deliver your new furniture, and for how much. They may have links to furniture banks or be willing to reuse your old materials. This will also impact your timeline.
How do our timelines match? Do you have a specific timeline for your kitchen that you need the company to work within? Do they take too long to deliver? How long will they take to refurbish the kitchen? Is there a way to renovate in sections so that you can still use parts of the space to cook and eat? Consider your needs and whether or not the company will be able to cater to them.
What if things go wrong? It is important you work with a trustworthy company, so on the off-chance things do go wrong then they are supportive and well-equipped to deal with the problem in a professional manner. Some companies may have a fast-time line and temptingly low prices; however, this may reflect in their execution of the job. Therefore, it is important to do your research before committing to one company. Prepare for the worst, including needing to cancel an order. How much money are you putting down at different stages? Figure out who is responsible if things go wrong, whether it be the company or the contractors you separately hired, or what happens if you decide not to keep the furniture.
What guarantees do I have? Try to get these in writing if you’re planning on purchasing from the company. Do they have price guarantees, such as price matching or customer satisfaction?
Do they have any discounts? You won’t know if you don’t ask, and they may be willing to provide bulk discounts or offer sales that they don’t display on the website. It may be that they say no but imagine if they did and you missed out!
What are the current trends? If you are remodelling to increase the price of the house before selling, consider major current trends. The people who are helping should know about popular looks and classic aesthetics, but also know current trends that you think look great will probably fade within the following months or years.
How can I maintain it? On the other hand, if you are looking at purchasing a forever kitchen, then you want something that will last that long. Whilst the strength and durability of the materials is important, after a while you will also be responsible for the maintenance of your space. Ask to know whether you’re purchasing something that is relatively high maintenance and if there are certain cleaning requirements.
Why should I buy from you? As a final question, this should help get the secrets that you haven’t yet uncovered. Your kitchen deserves the best, so you should be working with a company who you want to buy from and who values you as a customer. What makes this particular store special?
If you’re currently looking into purchasing a kitchen or visiting a showroom, you can visit one of our branches in Cambridge, St Albans and London today.
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